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Queens vehicles seized by Sanitation Dept.

Four Queens men were among 32 people whose vehicles were seized by the city Sanitation Department last month for illegally removing recyclables from in front of buildings, the agency's commissioner said this week.

Carlos Abad of Astoria, David DeJesus and Jose Perez of Corona and Miguel Hernandez of Ozone Park had their pickups and vans impounded as part of a concerted operation by the department to penalize the violators, the agency said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the measure into law in October. It imposes far steeper fines for people who operate motor vehicles to unlawfully remove recyclables, increasing penalties from $100 to $2,000 for first-time violators and up to $5,000 for repeated violations within 12 months.

Most of the violators 12, including Abad and Hernandez were operating in Brooklyn, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said. Six were in Staten Island, five in both Queens and the Bronx and four in Manhattan, he said.

The Sanitation Department also cracked down on illegal dumpers last month, seizing 10 vehicles belonging to people caught in the act.

Two Queens men were among those who lost their vehicles. Ozone Park resident Bartosz Wodzinski had his dump truck impounded for leaving 15 cubic yards of waste at a Q10 bus stop in Howard Beach, while Ridgewood resident Teofilo Gonzalez had his 1997 Nissan Maxima taken for dumping one cubic yard of waste at a Q5 stop in Ridgewood, Doherty said.

Fines for illegal dumping range between $1,500 and $20,000 per summons, plus the cost of cleanup for the material, usually about $150 per cubic yard.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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